By Rob Tucker
Mount Taranaki stands sentinel over the region, renowned for rugged coastline and epic surf. The town of New Plymouth features beautiful parks and gardens.
In the rhododendron season, New Plymouth's parks and gardens are beautiful to behold. Alternatively, pull on your hiking boots and explore Mount Taranaki.
Eltham is home to a number of pretty Victorian buildings. The main employer here is a cheese factory – buy something delicious for your picnic basket.
If you love milk and cheese, schedule a stop in Hawera; home of the southern hemisphere's largest single site dairy factory.
Stop off at Inglewood before you venture into the Egmont National Park. It's a great place to pick up provisions and ask about hiking and climbing safety.
You'll enjoy picturesque Oakura for its relaxed atmosphere, family-friendly beach, vibrant cafes and close-knit community.
If you travel ‘Surf Highway 45’, you can’t miss Opunake. Stay a while to enjoy the beach and the historic walkway, which ends at Te Namu Pa.
If you’re passing through Patea, stop and ask a local to sing Poi-E for you. It’s one of New Zealand’s favourite songs and it was invented here.
The town of Stratford looks after hikers, bikers and climbers who plan to venture into Egmont National Park. Mount Taranaki is right next door.
Bridge swinging is a Waitara specialty, or you could arrange to tour magnificent Manukorihi Pa. North Taranaki is full of surprises.
Named by Lonely Planet as a key highlight on the Forgotten World Highway, Whangamomona is a quaint town 45 minutes west of Stratford.